What are the five best things to do on a romantic trip to Raleigh-Durham?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Though you may be thinking that nothing about Raleigh-Durham sounds romantic, this North Carolina area is filled with all kinds of amorous outings. The five best things to do on a romantic trip to Raleigh-Durham are:

1. Reconnect with your special someone while you both drift into a tranquil world of relaxation with a couples massage at The Umstead Spa, one of North Carolina’s most luxurious getaway spots. As your therapists work the kinks out of both of your backs, side-by-side, you’re bound to feel a deeper connection to your loved one.

2. Pack a picnic and head to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. There’s no shortage of nooks and crannies for spreading a blanket. Though you may pass by plenty of coeds as you make your way through Duke University’s picturesque campus, there’s certainly plenty of privacy to be had within these gardens.

3. Walk through the sculpture garden at the North Carolina Museum of Art. After quietly strolling through more than 5,000 years of art, from the primitive to the post-modern, lunch at the museum’s Blue Ridge Restaurant. Choose a seat by a window and you’ll see sculptures scattered like trees in the meadow outside.

4. Stay overnight at The Fearrington House Inn. Nothing’s more romantic than a stroll under towering pecan and oak trees at dusk. As crickets tune up, you’ll amble through the aptly named White Garden, past fountains, an herb garden and crabapple trees. Light-strewn orbs of bundled grapevines hanging from branches magically light up the grounds.

5. Dine at one of Raleigh-Durham’s top restaurants. We suggest a romantic dinner at Herons. As you gaze into each other’s eyes, you’ll savor each and every seductively delicious bite at this intimately set Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant.

Theresa Chiettini

The best things to do on a romantic trip to Raleigh-Durham:

1. Book a night at The Fearrington House Inn, a romantic inn tucked away in the outskirts of Chapel Hill. You can take a walk through well-tended gardens, enjoy a day at The Spa at Fearrington, and savor an intimate dinner at The Fearrington House Restaurant, a Five-Star fine dining restaurant.
2. Take a walk through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. One of the premier public gardens in the country, it has 55 acres with more than 200 colorful plant varieties viewable from five miles of walkways and paths. More than 300,000 people from all over the world visit each year.
3. An acclaimed garden with one of the Southeast's largest and most diverse collections of flowers and plants, the JC Raulston Arboretum spans more than eight acres at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. It's open year-round, and admission is free to the public.
4. Tour the historic homes of Chapel Hill. The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill was founded in 1972 to protect the atmosphere of Chapel Hill by preserving its historic natural and man-made landmarks. Dogs are not allowed on the guided tours to homes.

5. Hikers and bikers will find literally thousands of acres of great trails all around the Eno River in Durham. Eno River State Park is also available for those interested in canoeing its Class I - III rapids as well as camping in the scenic river valley. This is the perfect place to go in the Durham area for some outdoor exercise and a little scenery.

Jim Beley

What are the best five things to do on a romantic trip to Raleigh-Durham? We would recommend a refreshing morning hike in Umstead State Park, including a gourmet picnic lunch by the beautiful babbling brook on the Company Mill Trail — you’ll feel miles away. Another seasonal option outdoors is a North Carolina Symphony Summerfest concert in the scenic Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary. Indoors, a trip to the Morehead Planetarium on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus followed by dinner outside at Top of the Hill Brewery could have you both seeing stars. The Fearrington House Inn in nearby Pittsboro is a wonderful Five-Star bed-and-breakfast type venue with an outstanding restaurant and pastoral setting, with its own Belted Galloway cows grazing nearby. Finally, the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) hosts a variety of Broadway shows, acclaimed musical acts and other cultural experiences that are perfect for two.

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